An entertaining press conference from Martin Jol as Fulham unveiled their new manager at Craven Cottage this lunchtime.
The Dutchman, who signed a two year contract to replace Mark Hughes earlier this month, started by channelling Arnold Schwarzenneger:
Everybody knew I would like to come back. I said that when I left, like Arnold Schwarzenegger I will be back, and I am back.
He said he was delighted to be back in English football and was attracted by Fulham’s friendly reputation and tradition. Jol also said he was excited to build on the success that the club have achieved over the past couple of seasons.
I think Fulham is a traditional club, like Spurs, West Ham and all the London clubs. They gave me a good feeling and when we played here (with Spurs) we had a couple of good results, and I like the colours, black and white as well. I could go on but Fulham are happy, I am happy, so hopefully we can keep it that way.
Jol was candid enough to admit that next week’s Europa League start against Faroe Islands’ side NSI Runavik was not ideal, but was happy to be leading the club on another European adventure. The new manager has only met Dickson Etuhu and David Stockdale, who were both in training this morning hoping to recover quickly from injuries, and plans to meet the squad as they return to pre-season training this week.
This is only the second or third time Fulham have been in Europe. So I could have said let’s start (pre-season training) early in June but I thought it was a bad idea. You could consider it a friendly game with a serious touch.
Jol also clarified the position following his failure to join Fulham as a replacement for Roy Hodgson last summer.
Don’t forget there was another problem last year as Ajax had to play in the Champions League qualifiers and there was no (release) clause and it was really difficult, but I think this was okay. We talked again a couple of weeks ago after Mark Hughes left and I had the same feeling and I made a decision to go back and talk to them and I decided to take the job.